Home WORLD AMERICA Brazil: Journalist Phillips and expert Pereira killed by gunfire

Brazil: Journalist Phillips and expert Pereira killed by gunfire


A suspect in the murders surrendered on Saturday morning, she also announced, the third now arrested in this case.

Mr Phillips, 57, a longtime contributor to The Guardian newspaper, and Mr Pereira, 41, a recognized expert on indigenous peoples, were in the Amazon as part of a book on environmental conservation.

They had been seen for the last time on June 5, when they took a boat to Atalaia do Norte (north-west), in the Javari Valley, an area known to be dangerous where multiple drug trafficking, fishing or illegal gold mining.

On Friday, the Brazilian Federal Police (PF) indicated that the first human remains discovered on the indication of a suspect were those of Dom Phillips, on the basis of an odontological examination (dental, in particular, editor’s note) by a laboratory in Brasilia.

On Saturday, she announced that the remains of Bruno Pereira had also been found by investigators.

Mr. Pereira was hit by three shots, including one to the head, and Mr. Phillips by a bullet to the chest, she added.

The suspect who turned himself in on Saturday is Jeferson da Silva Lima, says Pelado da Dinha. According to all the evidence and testimonies collected, this fisherman was at the crime scene and actively participated in the double homicidesaid police commissioner Alex Perez Timóteo.

Dom Phillips’ remains were found on Wednesday at the location indicated by fisherman Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, says Peladowho had admitted the day before having buried the bodies.

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According to local media, the police are looking for a fourth suspect, information that has not been officially confirmed.

The police indicated that the elements available to them at this stage of the investigation suggested that the killers acted alone, without a sponsor, without a criminal organization behind the murders.

A version denied by the Aboriginals

The Union of Indigenous Peoples of the Javari Valley (Univaja), whose members actively participated in the research, refuted the police version.

There are not just two killers, but an organized group that planned the crime down to the smallest detail.Univaja said in a statement.

The Univaja claims to have sent the authorities a report in which it explained that Pelado was involved in illegal fishing activities.

This 41-year-old man had also been accused of having committed 2018 and 2019 gun attacks on a Funai basethe Brazilian government agency for indigenous affairs, in the same city of Atalaia do Norte.

The Univaja evokes a powerful criminal organization that tried at all costs to cover its tracks during the investigation on the double murder, recalling that Bruno Pereira, who worked for a long time at Funai, had already been the subject of death threats.

According to several experts, the illegal fishing of endangered species in the Javari Valley is, most often, under the control of drug traffickers who use the sale of fish to launder drug money.

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We demand the continuation and deepening of the investigationsinsisted the Univaja.

The Javari Valley, the second largest indigenous reserve in Brazil, where 26 indigenous peoples live, is a region that is difficult to access, in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, on the triple border between Brazil, Peru and Colombia, where the State has very little influence.

Many members of the security forces left the scene after the remains of the victims were discovered.

And the natives who took part in the research now say they fear for their lives. We will continue to live here, and the state will not provide them with any security.deplored to AFP Paulo Marubo, coordinator of Univaja, who said he also received threats.

The double murder of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira has sparked outrage around the world, with strong criticism of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro accused of promoting deforestation and encouraging resource exploitation in the Amazon since his coming to power in 2019.

The United States on Friday urged accountability for the murders of the two men, murdered for supporting the preservation of the rainforest and indigenous peoples.

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